Coming into Saturday, my primary concern was that the Nebraska Cornhuskers would be would be juiced to the point giving OU a major score pr even an upset. Losing Scott Frost and promoting the popular Mickey Joseph to interim status might have been just the voice the Huskers needed to put them over the top and lead them to a big breakout win. In the early going, it seemed like this was coming to fruition.
This fear, however, was short-lived, as Brent Venables and the Oklahoma Sooners definitely and decisively took control of the game en route to a 49-14 win over their old rivals.
Dillion Gabriel and Oklahoma’s offensive line struggled a bit on the opening drive, seemingly confirming the fan base’s worst fears entering Saturday. When Casey Thompson followed this with an easy touchdown drive, it appeared that OU might be in for either a dogfight or a long day at the office. Faced with third and long at their own 39 on the next drive, Gabriel and the Sooners were approaching make-or-break territory. Fortunately, Gabriel delivered with a timely (and kind of shocking) 61-yard TD run.
From this point forward, the defense was constantly causing disruption, and the offense was consistently keeping Nebraska on its heels. Perhaps most pleasant of all was the OU offensive line absolutely having its way in the running game, which allowed the Sooners to completely control the remainder of the afternoon to the tune of 49 unanswered points. By game’s end, OU accrued 312 rushing yards on 54 attempts for a 5.8 yard average. Eric Gray led the way with 113 yards and two TDs on only 11 attempts. Needless to say, the moves were on display.
Eric Gray went ⬅️ and the defender went ➡️. pic.twitter.com/sncfp5rRG8— ℍ - - ℍ ℝ (@soonergridiron) September 17, 2022
This opened things up for the passing game, as well, as Gabriel ended the day with 16 completions on 27 attempts for 230 yards and two passing TDs.
Defensively, OU’s ability to create pressure with different looks completely neutralized Casey Thompson, who entered the game with some impressive performances. One name to take away from this one? True freshman Jaren Kanak, who constantly created disruption following DaShaun White’s targeting dismissal.
These back-to-back plays by true freshman Jaren Kanak. pic.twitter.com/oDA2LorAO3— ℍ - - ℍ ℝ (@soonergridiron) September 17, 2022
This team pretty much checked every box, and there will be plenty to say in the coming days. In the meantime, bask in the glow of a complete and decisive win over an old rival, and enjoy the rest of your college football Saturday.